Turkish authorities granted an emergency authorization to Turkovac, the locally developed Covid-19 vaccination. It will be made available by the health minister at the end December.
Speaking at the vaccine’s manufacturing facility in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa on Wednesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that the much-delayed Turkovac Covid-19 shot had been approved for use in Turkey and would be administered starting next weekend.
According to Koca’s data, Turkey is now among only nine countries making Covid-19 vaccinations. The health minister also praised President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his leadership and ensuring the vaccine’s use.
Erdogan also saluted the progress in a video address. “Our Turkovac vaccine … is the symbol of our efforts to protect our nation against the epidemic in the most effective way. We will be pleased to share this vaccine with all humanity,”He said.
The vaccine was due to arrive earlier than expected, however delays prevented it from being ready in time. Two doses of the vaccine are administered at once, 28 days apart.
More than 125 million doses of vaccines have been administered in Turkey, using shots made by China’s Sinovac and by Pfizer-BioNTech. One dose of vaccine has been administered to 51 million people. Others have received a booster shot.
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on Turkey, with some 80,000 deaths according to official data. The number of infections is still high with approximately 20,000 cases per day. Recent studies have shown that the seven-day daily average of deaths from infection has fallen to below 200.